It's been four years now since I started submitting my short stories for publication. So far, I've sold 75 tales to various online and print publications, and once the rights have reverted to me, most have found new life via Amazon and Smashwords. It's been a lot of work along the way, and I've enjoyed just about every moment.
But three stories definitely stand out from the pack. Not because I think they're any better than the others; they have something in common...
The first is "Tomorrow's Dawn," published by Daily Science Fiction; the second is "Roadkill Joe," published by AE Science Fiction; and the third is "One Meal a Day," which recently appeared in Nature. (Cool surprise in the mail last week: a contributor's copy!)
As you've probably guessed, they're the three SFWA-qualifying sales that, along with $90, ushered me into the exclusive virtual halls of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America forums! That's right, I'm now officially an active member, and I look forward to seeing what it does for my writing career.
But maybe I should take JFK's advice and ask not what the SFWA can do for me, but rather what I can do for the SFWA. The problem is, I don't have time to lurk around discussion forums nor the inclination to involve myself in writerly debates. For four long years, it was my goal to get to this level. Now that I'm here, I can't help but ask, "So what?"
I don't plan to turn into a pretentious snob. I plan to sell another 25 stories before I turn 40. That's three years, folks. It can be done; it shall be done. And who knows? Maybe I'll land another SFWA-qualifying sale or two in the process.
As the cliché goes, it's not the destination that matters so much; it's the journey. I've enjoyed the ride so far, and I can't wait to see what the future has in store.